October 3, 2023

Inter Milan emerged victorious over 10-man Porto in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 matchup, thanks to a late goal from Romelu Lukaku on Wednesday night.

The goal took his tally to just four since returning to Inter from Chelsea in the offseason.

The match began with Lautaro Martínez heading over the bar from close range in the 13th minute, followed by Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s swift reaction to punch Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s cross-shot out from under the bar.

Despite the early pressure from Inter, Porto held up well, with Marko Grujić having a chance of his own in the 27th minute, but fired over the bar.

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In the second half, Porto started strongly with a double save from Inter goalkeeper André Onana to deny first Mehdi Taremi and then Zaidu.

Lukaku replaced Edin Džeko in the 58th minute and soon went close to breaking the deadlock, but his cross-shot flashed past Martínez’s outstretched leg and the far post.

Porto midfielder Otávio was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the 78th minute, giving Inter a numerical advantage for the remainder of the match. It was not long before Lukaku scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. His header from Nicolò Barella’s cross hit the left post but he tucked away the rebound.

Inter has lost only once since the beginning of November, while Porto came into the match on a 22-game unbeaten run and had only let in two goals in its past 11 matches.

The win gives Inter an important advantage ahead of the second leg, which is scheduled to take place on March 14th in Porto.

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